Here’s some of the interior illustrations I drew for the latest Darren ShanZom-B book, Zom-B Angels, recently published in the UK and Ireland by Simon & Shuster and coming out on July 9th in the US and beyond. I thought I’d also include an example of a rough pencilled version next to the final inked one to give you that extra ‘spesh’ behind the scenes tour. Brains anyone?!
To celebrate today’s release of Darren Shan’s Zom B City, the third instalment in the twelve book Zom B series from Simon & Shuster, here’s three more pencilled roughs from the interior illustrations, all a little different in composition and approach. With the first one, it’s often good to put the viewer behind the eyes of the main character, especially in this context…
For this one, the newly acquired clothing seemed to be calling out for a Spaghetti Western style stand-off…
And finally, with a completely different approach. The description for this brief led me to compose it like some kind of warped renaissance-style adoration. You can even see the steeple of St Martin in the Fields, near the National Gallery in the background. This is one of my favourites.
Today I’m posting up some of my pencil roughs from the third instalment of Darren Shan’s Zom B series, Zom B City, out tomorrow! Personally, as an artist and a general nosey git, I love to see the different stages of other artists or illustrator’s work in progress. Sometimes things can be improved in the final art and sometimes you lose some of the spontaneity you had in a pencilled sketch. On a practical level for this series, I had to provide pencilled roughs for Darren and the Simon & Shuster team to approve before I went onto produce the final illustrations, so I usually have to include as much in these roughs as you’ll see in the final piece.
Sometimes though, the picture will take on a whole new dimension or direction when you come to ink it. My tendency to let rip with the markers or brush pens when inking and not exactly knowing how things will eventually turn out, gives me a big buzz, seeing it come together in all its inky splattered glory.
As Johnny from the Fast Show would say, ‘Black, paint it black!’
I meant to post this up to coincide with the second release of Darren Shan’s Zom-B books, Zom-B Underground, back in early January when it was originally released, but I’ve been so busy I’m only just getting round to it. Seeing as the third book in the series, Zom-B City is released from Simon & Shuster this week on the 14th, it’s probably a good time to show some of my artwork for both books, inks and pencil roughs, over the course of the week. Today’s is a final inked piece from Zom-B Underground. Zombies versus soldiers! If anyone had told my fifteen year old self working on my art O level all those years ago that I’d be making a living drawing zombies fighting soldiers in the future, I probably wouldn’t have believed them. Here’s one in your eye, 1980 Careers Advisor!
I’ve had to keep a low profile on this project for a while, but now it can be told! I’ve been drawing the interior illustrations for best selling author, Darren Shan’s new series of gorily gruesome books for teens, Zom B, the first of which comes out this week, Thursday the 27th!
There’ll be a total of 12 books eventually, coming out every three months or so and I’ve been commissioned to draw the whole series. It’s kind of like a dream commission for me; I get to draw zombie kids eating their teachers and make it as dark as I possibly can. They’re a cracking read too, so for all you zom heads out there that haven’t had the pleasure of Darren’s work yet, or for all those countless Shansters who’ve just happened to stumble across lil’ ol’ me’s blog thing, check out this link to the latest news on book launches and where to get your copy of the first book via the website of Mr. Master of Horror himself.
A big thank you to Darren, of course and to Nick at Simon and Shuster for getting me on board and extra special thanks to Hannah Abbo and everyone at Advocate, my illustration agents for linking us all up!